What Don't Republicans Like About Democracy?

Not only will Donald Trump not likely honor the results of the election, Republicans are already talking about impeaching Hillary Clinton in the very real likelihood she gets elected.  The question is why do they reflexively think Democratic presidents are illegitimate and why do they have so little respect for democracy itself?  

The Republicans hated President Bill Clinton whose policies today are criticized by progressives  for being too right-leaningincluding the establishment of a free trade zone,  NAFTA, and the mass incarceration which have particularly devastated communities of color.  Even given his centrist policies, the Republicans investigated one mythical “scandal” after another.  The Whitewater investigation morphed into Travelgate which then morphed into the investigation of the Monica Lewinsky affair. Taken together, the Republican-driven investigations of the Clinton administration cost the public nearly $80 million dollars and were a major distraction for his administration ending ultimately in impeachment proceedings where Clinton was acquitted in the senate along just about a straight party line vote with a few Republican defections. 

Fast forward eight years.  On the night of President Obama’s inauguration, GOP bigwigs, including former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, met and decided to obstruct anything and everything the popular, newly elected president did, and this during an economic crisis of secondary consequence only to the Great Depression. A Republican member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, shouted  “you lie” during President Obama’s State of the Union address.Almost two-thirds on the right think the president is a Muslim born in Kenya, falsehoods given legitimacy in the mainstream by none other than the Republican party’s nominee for president, Donald Trump. 

Hillary Clinton has a slight lead in most polls, although Donald Trump has gained ground in the last two weeks or so before the election making the election a close call. When asked during the third and final debate if he would accept the results of the election, Trump replied “I will keep you in suspense.” The next day he said he would accept the election results if he wins. He has been calling out individual members of the press at his rallies isolating them in a roped-off enclosure, while members of his tribe berate them and angrily shout epithets at them.  The media has become the objects of ridicule and even violence to his frenzied following. Trump said he will change libel lawsmaking it easier to sue the press if he didn’t like the which in which he was characterized. He said Hillary would be jailed if he is elected and “we should just cancel the election and declare me the winner.”  In comparison, Hillary has just used his own words against him in criticism of Trump. 

Republican leaders in Congress have said they will not affirm a Supreme Court nominee if Hillary wins the election, as if the seat is reserved for a staunch conservative  dead set on implementing their corporatist agenda and rolling back civil rights. Most frighteningly, they are already talking of impeaching Hillary before she is even sworn in.  They warn of a “constitutional crisis” if Hillary gets elected, unaware that they are the ones initiating it. As with her husband, there is talk of one imaginary “scandal” after another -first Benghazi, as if she could control events half a world away, and then with her use of a private server for her emails. No matter that FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” 

Fox News was buzzing with stories that Clinton would face imminent indictment as the result of a  FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Apparently, rogue agents within the Bureau prefer a demagogue like Trump in office as opposed to a career politician like Hillary Clinton whom they see as the anti-Christ. Astoundingly, the bureau’s preliminary inquiry into the Clinton Foundation was based in part on Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash”, according to Talking Points Memo. “Clinton Cash” was funded by the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative nonprofit co-founded by Steve Bannon and was heavily promoted by Breitbart News, where Bannon was executive chairman before taking leave to become Donald Trump’s campaign CEO.”  

So the FBI preliminary investigation and its subsequent leak has an almost incestuous relationship with the Trump campaign  and is based on a right-wing, hysterical tome funded by a group co-founded by Trump’s campaign manager.  Rogue elements within our top domestic law enforcement agency are trying to influence the results of the election, which is a clear affront to democracy. 

Now there is premature, hysterical talk of impeachment if Hillary wins the election. Why? Because the Republicans have become a party solely fixated on obstruction and have yielded entirely to their authoritarian tendencies, which is so much a part of their makeup.  Their ideas are stagnant and antiquated. “Trickle down” economics is a failure serving only to create huge deficits and to exacerbate the enormous chasm between the rich and the poor resulting in a system where the "the top one-tenth of 1 percent" of Americans "own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.  They have lost most of their culture war issues as society has moved on. They are solely and permanently the party of obstruction, nihilism, and governmental dysfunction because that is all they know how to do and the foundation of their appeal to their aggrieved white male base. 

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS